[Hooping.org will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day with our loved ones and we will return on Friday. Until then, Hooping.org Editor Philo Hagen celebrates the giving of thanks.]
by Philo Hagen
Every year when Autumn arrives I find myself in a little resistance. I want to stay outside in the bright warm sun and crank the tunes and keep right on hooping. The seasons, however, have other ideas and as the leaves fall and the very ground on which I live turns inward, I inevitably can’t help but find myself turning inward as well. Autumn is a time of harvest, a time of reflection on the year that is nearly past, and with the arrival of Thanksgiving it’s also a great time for gratitude. For those who aren’t familiar, gratitude can be as transformational in our lives as hooping itself, and like our hooping gratitude is not a noun, it is a verb.
When I was younger I often found myself defaulting to a place of being rather chronically malcontent. It was just a part of my psyche, the way I saw the world back then. So when a mentor in my life at the time asked me to make a list of all the things I was grateful for, I had a really hard time coming up with anything. “You’re breathing, aren’t you,” she would ask. I would nod and add breathing to the list. Then she’d cajole, “You’ve got ten fingers, don’t you?” I’d look at my hands and though I’d see them as being not anything special, I would nod again and pencil “having all of my fingers” on to the list. At the time basic body functions and having my extremities didn’t seem like much, but they most certainly are. Over time I was able to begin to understand and believe in the process and the power of gratitude. For if I could not breathe, I most likely could not hoop. I am so grateful to be breathing today! And if I did not have my fingers, I doubt I could hold and grasp and twirl this plastic circle within my hand. I’m so thankful for my fingers! In recognizing our gratitude we change our perspective, our view of the world, and in doing so we may even wind up changing the world around us. At a loss for things to be grateful for? Here are a few things I think most of us hoopers can have on our gratitude list.